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The global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), represents an unprecedented challenge to our healthcare system.1 As the number of identified COVID-19 patients exponentially increases, protocols for the safe delivery of care of both patients and providers are vital. This is especially true, given the number of healthcare providers who have contracted the disease. If we fail to protect physicians, nursing staff, and ancillary providers, we will fail to meet the needs of future patients. The successful care of future COVID-19 patients will depend on effective safety and prevention strategies for healthcare workers.2
Patients with acute ischemic stroke (AIS) are a high-risk patient cohort. Li et al performed an analysis of six studies encompassing 1527 patients with COVID-19 and showed that patients with cardio/cerebrovascular disease comprised 16.4% of the cohort, but that the incidence was approximately threefold higher among patients with severe COVID-19 requiring intensive care (ICU) admission.3 Thus, patients with a history of AIS and/or its risk factors are particularly at risk for the severe form of COVID-19. Additionally, there is early evidence that SARS-CoV-2 can cause neurologic signs, and that it has been reported in the brains of both patients and animal models.4 Of patients with SARS-CoV-2 respiratory distress, 36.4% had neurologic symptoms with 4.5% of severe patients suffering ischemic stroke.5 In this setting, neurointerventionalists should expect to be involved in the care of COVID-19-positive patients, as well as those whose status is unknown and those at risk of a severe form of the disease.
While the data on COVID-19 are rapidly emerging, the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery seeks to provide neurointerventionalists with rapid up-to-date recommendations on the management of stroke thrombectomy in this setting with an emphasis on safety measures for …
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